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UPSC CURRENT AFFAIRS – 5 June 2024

Insights IAS UPSC CURRENT AFFAIRS – 5 June 2024 covers important current affairs of the day, their backward linkages, their relevance for Prelims exam and MCQs on main articles

InstaLinks :  Insta Links help you think beyond the  current affairs issue and help you think multidimensionally to develop depth in your understanding of these issues. These linkages provided in this ‘hint’ format help you frame possible questions in your mind that might arise(or an examiner might imagine) from each current event. InstaLinks also connect every issue to their static or theoretical background.

Table of Contents 

GS Paper 3: (UPSC CURRENT AFFAIRS – 5 June 2024)

  1. Challenges Faced by Farm sector in India and Reforms Needed

 

Facts for Prelims (FFP) (UPSC CURRENT AFFAIRS – 5 June 2024)

  1. Doctrine of Merger and the Rule of stare decisis
  2. International Health Regulations (IHR 2005)
  3. World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS)
  4. Reports in News
  5. World’s largest grain storage plan
  6. Role of Nuclear Technologies in Food System
  7. Phenome India-CSIR Health Cohort Knowledgebase (PI-CheCK) Project
  8. PraVaHa Software

 

Mapping (UPSC CURRENT AFFAIRS – 5 June 2024)

  1. Abu Musa, Greater Tunb, and Lesser Tunb islands

 


(UPSC CURRENT AFFAIRS – 5 June 2024)


Challenges Faced by Farm sector in India and Reforms Needed

 GS Paper 3

Source: Th  

Context:  The farm sector faces the challenge of sharing growth gains sustainably, beyond just boosting productivity.

 

Significance of Agriculture Sector in Indian Economy:

SignificanceDescription
Contribution to GDPAgriculture contributes around 15-16% to India’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), showcasing its pivotal role in economic growth and development.
Resilience during Covid-19Despite economic downturns in other sectors during the COVID-19 pandemic, agriculture remained resilient, contributing 18.8% to Gross Value Added (GVA) in 2021-22.
Employment GenerationThe farm sector employs over 45% of the country’s labour force, especially vital in rural areas where most engage in agricultural activities, according to the Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS) report for 2021-22.
Food SecurityIndia’s agriculture sector plays a vital role in ensuring food security for its 1.3 billion population, producing staple crops like rice, wheat, pulses, and vegetables.
Foreign Exchange EarningsAgricultural exports contribute significantly to foreign exchange earnings, surpassing USD 56 billion in 2021. India ranks as the largest producer of milk and pulses, and the second-largest producer of wheat and rice globally.
Raw Material Provider for IndustriesAgriculture supplies raw materials for various industries such as cotton for textiles, sugarcane for sugar, and oilseeds for edible oils, fostering strong linkages within the economy and supporting the Ethanol Economy.
Strategic SignificanceA robust agricultural sector reduces dependence on imports, ensuring food security, especially vital for a populous nation like India.

 

 

 

Current Major Challenges Related to India’s Agriculture Sector:

  1. Fragmented Landholdings: 89.4% of agricultural households own less than two hectares of land.
  2. Menace of Climate Change: Erratic monsoon patterns and rising temperatures disrupt crop yields.
  3. Water Scarcity: Over-exploitation of groundwater and inadequate irrigation infrastructure limit productivity.
  4. Market Inefficiencies and Price Fluctuations: Lack of access to well-developed markets and fair pricing affects farmers. Middlemen and complex supply chains lead to price gaps.
  5. Inadequate Storage and Transportation Facilities: Poor storage infrastructure and transportation networks result in post-harvest losses. Around 74 million tonnes of food is lost annually in India.
  6. Limited Access to Credit and Insurance: Small farmers struggle to access affordable credit and crop insurance.
  7. Soil Degradation and Resource Depletion: Overuse of chemical fertilizers and inadequate soil conservation practices lead to soil degradation.
  8. Inefficient Agriculture Policy: Complex policies and ineffective implementation hinder progress. The gap between policy and reality is highlighted by controversies like Minimum Support Prices (MSPs).
  9. Stagnated Growth: Despite employing a significant labour force, agriculture’s contribution to GDP is low.

 

Agrarian Reforms role in driving Socio-Economic Change

  1. Land Redistribution: Reforms like the West Bengal Land Reforms Act aimed to redistribute land to landless farmers, reducing inequality and poverty in rural areas.
  2. Improved Credit Access: Initiatives like Kisan Credit Cards have enhanced farmers’ access to credit, boosting their purchasing power and stimulating rural economies.
  3. Promotion of Farmer Cooperatives: The establishment of AMUL (Anand Milk Union Limited) as a cooperative model has empowered farmers, ensuring fair prices and market access.
  4. Agricultural Insurance: The Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY) offers insurance against crop failures, providing economic stability to farmers.
  5. Direct Benefit Transfers (DBT): Schemes like PM-KISAN provide direct financial support to farmers, enhancing their economic status and reducing reliance on informal credit.
  6. Rural Infrastructure Development: Programs like the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) have improved rural infrastructure, facilitating better market access and socio-economic growth.

 

Agrarian Reforms serves as a Pivotal tool for  Agricultural Modernization

  1. Green Revolution: Introduced in the 1960s, it transformed India’s agriculture through high-yield crops and advanced farming techniques, significantly increasing food production.
  2. Water Management: Initiatives like the Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana focus on efficient water use, and improving irrigation and crop yields.
  3. Technological Advancements: The introduction of digital technologies through the Digital India movement enhances agricultural practices and information access.
  4. Crop Diversification: Government schemes promote diversification into high-value crops, reducing dependency on traditional crops and increasing income.
  5. Organic Farming: The Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana encourages organic farming, reducing chemical usage and promoting sustainable agriculture.
  6. Skill Development: Programs like Skill India Mission provide agricultural training, enhancing farming skills and modernizing agricultural practices.

 

Government Initiatives:

InitiativeDescription
National Mission on Sustainable AgricultureAims to promote sustainable agriculture practices, and enhance soil health, and water efficiency.
Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana (PKVY)Promotes organic farming and supports farmers in adopting traditional farming methods.
Submission on AgroForestry (SMAF)Encourages the integration of trees into farming systems to enhance productivity and sustainability.
Rashtriya Krishi Vikas YojanaFocuses on improving agricultural productivity and ensuring the development of the agricultural sector.
AgriStackDigital platform to provide comprehensive information and services to farmers for better decision-making.
National e-Governance Plan in Agriculture (NeGP-A)Aims to improve the efficiency and transparency of agricultural services through digital technology.
Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman NidhiProvides financial assistance to farmers in the form of direct income support.
Agriculture Infrastructure FundFacilitates the creation of agricultural infrastructure to improve productivity and competitiveness.
World’s largest grain storage planThe plan aims to transform Primary Agricultural Credit Societies (PACS) into Multi-Service Societies. The pilot project, implemented in 11 states, focuses on creating agricultural infrastructure at the PACS level, including warehouses and processing units, through various government schemes.

 

 

The potential of AI in Agricultural Reforms:

  1. Precision Farming: AI algorithms can analyze soil data, weather patterns, and crop health to tailor fertilizer and water application, maximizing yields and minimizing waste.
  2. Pest and Disease Control: AI-powered drones can survey fields, identify early signs of infestations, and recommend targeted interventions, reducing crop losses and reliance on harmful pesticides.
  3. Market Analytics: AI can analyze market trends and predict prices, helping farmers choose the right crops and negotiate better deals, leading to improved income and reduced vulnerability.
  4. Automation and Labor Efficiency: AI-powered robots can handle tedious tasks like weeding and harvesting, freeing up valuable time for farmers to focus on other aspects of their operations and potentially alleviating the labour shortage in agriculture.
  5. Climate Resilience: AI models can predict weather patterns and advise farmers on adaptation strategies, making agriculture more resilient to climate change and extreme weather events.

 

Way Forward and Conclusion 

To revitalize India’s agriculture sector, several measures can be adopted. Implementing agroecological intensification methods like permaculture and regenerative agriculture can enhance biodiversity and resilience. Establishing agricultural innovation clusters fosters collaboration among research institutions, startups, and farmers. Drone-based precision agriculture improves efficiency and reduces resource wastage. Genetic editing techniques like CRISPR-Cas9 offer precise crop improvements. Public-private partnerships in agricultural extension services can provide localized support. Developing agri-logistics and cold chain infrastructure minimizes post-harvest losses. A model agricultural policy can guide sustainable practices and empower farmers. Placing agriculture marketing in the Concurrent list and forming an inter-ministerial committee can ensure better oversight and responsiveness to market dynamics.

  

Insta Links: 

  

Mains Links:

How is science interwoven deeply with our lives? What are the striking changes in agriculture triggered by science-based technologies? (USPC 2020)

Given the vulnerability of Indian agriculture to vagaries of nature, discuss the need for crop insurance and bring out the salient features of the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY). (UPSC 2016)

  

Prelims links:

Under the Kisan Credit Card scheme, short-term credit support is given to farmers for which of the following purposes? (UPSC 2020)

  1. Working capital for maintenance of farm assets
  2. Purchase of combine harvesters, tractors and mini trucks
  3. Consumption requirements of farm households
  4. Post-harvest expenses
  5. Construction of family house and setting up of village cold storage facility

 

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

(a) 1, 2 and 5 only

(b) 1, 3 and 4 only

(c) 2, 3, 4 and 5 only

(d) 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5

Ans: (b)

 

  1. Consider the following statements: (UPSC 2017)
  2. The nation-wide ‘Soil Health Card Scheme’ aims at expanding the cultivable area under irrigation.
  3. Enabling the banks to assess the quantum of loans to be granted to farmers on the basis of soil quality.
  4. Checking the overuse of fertilizers in farmlands.

 

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

(a) 1 and 2 only

(b) 3 only

(c) 2 and 3 only

(d) 1, 2 and 3

 

Ans: (b)

 


(UPSC CURRENT AFFAIRS – 5 June 2024)  Facts for Prelims (FFP)


Doctrine of Merger and the Rule of stare decisis

Context: The Supreme Court emphasized that its power under Article 142 of the Indian Constitution is an exception to the doctrine of merger and the rule of stare decisis, aiming to achieve complete justice between parties.

 

What is the Doctrine of Merger and the Rule of stare decisis?

The doctrine of merger is founded on the principles of court decorum and propriety. It holds that when an appellate court issues an order, the lower court’s order becomes absorbed into it. This principle ensures clarity in enforcing decisions when multiple orders exist from different levels of the judiciary. Essentially, it dictates that the superior court’s ruling takes precedence, merging with and superseding the lower court’s decision. Although not codified, this doctrine maintains judicial discipline, guiding subordinate courts in their proceedings.

In contrast, the doctrine of stare decisis mandates that courts adhere to prior judicial decisions when faced with similar legal issues. These decisions, known as precedents, serve as guiding principles for future cases, creating a legal framework for consistent judicial decisions based on past rulings.

 


International Health Regulations (IHR 2005)

 Source: PIB

 Context: The 77th World Health Assembly adopted amendments to the International Health Regulations (IHR 2005), incorporating 300 proposals by member states following the Covid-19 pandemic.

  • Also, decided to extend the mandate of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Body (established in 2021) to finish its work to negotiate a Pandemic Agreement within a year.

Aim: These amendments aim to enhance countries’ readiness and response to Public Health Emergencies of International Concern and Pandemic Emergencies.

About International Health Regulations (IHR):

  1. Successor: International Sanitary Regulations (1951).
  2. Aim Legally binding framework defining countries’ rights and obligations in handling cross-border public health events and emergencies.
  3. Members: Includes 194 WHO Member States, plus Liechtenstein and the Holy See.
  4. Need for Amendments: Experience from epidemics like Ebola and COVID-19 emphasized the necessity for enhanced public health surveillance, response, and preparedness mechanisms globally.

Key Amendments:

  1. Definition of Pandemic Emergency: Defined as a communicable disease with wide geographical spread or high risk, exceeding national health system capacities.
  2. Coordinating Financial Mechanism: Addressing needs and priorities of developing countries.
  3. States Parties Committee: Facilitate effective IHR implementation.
  4. National IHR Authorities: Improve coordination among countries.

About World Health Assembly (WHA):

The World Health Assembly (formed in 1948) is the forum through which the World Health Organization is governed by its 194 member states. It is the world’s highest health policy setting body and is composed of health ministers from member states

 


World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS)

 Source: PIB

 Context: India played a significant role in the ITU’s WSIS+20 Forum High-Level Event and the ‘AI for Good’ Global Summit. During these events, India showcased its leadership in drafting global standards for responsible and trustworthy AI.

The WSIS+20 Forum commemorates 20 years of progress since the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), which occurred in Geneva in 2003 and Tunis in 2005. This annual forum, co-organized by ITU, UNESCO, UNDP, and UNCTAD, aims to create a multi-stakeholder platform addressing issues raised by information and communication technologies inclusively at national, regional, and international levels. Its goal is to foster a people-centric, inclusive, and development-oriented Information Society, enabling universal access, utilization, and sharing of information.


Reports in News

ReportsDescription
Global Purchasing Power Parities (PPP) 2021The International Comparison Program (ICP) has released data covering 176 economies on their Purchasing power parities.
Key findings reveal that in 2021, China, with a GDP of $28.8 trillion based on Purchasing Power Parity (PPP), was the largest economy, followed by the United States. India, with a GDP of $11 trillion, was the third largest, accounting for 7.2% of global GDP. In terms of GDP ranking by nominal values, India is currently the 5th largest economy.
PPP, or Purchasing Power Parity, is an exchange rate at which one nation’s currency would be converted into another to purchase the same amounts of a large group of products. It provides a more accurate measure of living standards across countries compared to the Market Exchange Rate (MER), which often inflates the buying power of high-income countries (where prices are high) and underestimates that of low-income countries (where prices are lower).
The ICP is a worldwide statistical initiative that collects comparative price data and detailed GDP expenditures to produce PPPs for the world’s economies. Coordinated by the World Bank under the auspices of the United Nations Statistical Commission, the program was initiated in 1968 and has been a permanent element of the global statistical program since 2016. The ICP also measures the Price Level Index (PLI), which is the ratio of a PPP to its corresponding exchange rate.

 

 
ICRIER’s Policy Brief on Post-Harvest Losses (PHL) in IndiaThe policy brief highlights the benefits of reducing post-harvest losses (PHL): increasing farmers’ income, enhancing food security, and ensuring sustainability in agrifood systems.
Key highlights include India’s production growth, with food grain increasing from 74.23 million metric tonnes (MMT) in 1966-67 to over 330 MMT in 2022-23, and horticulture rising from about 96 MMT in 1991-92 to over 355 MMT in 2022-23. India’s storage capacity expanded from about 108 MMT in 2010 to over 219 MMT in 2021. Globally, about 30% of food produced never reaches consumers, and India faces higher PHL in cereals, pulses, and oilseeds, leading to an annual loss of about $18 billion from 2020 to 2022.
Initiatives to reduce PHL include the Private Entrepreneurs Guarantee (PEG) Scheme for enhancing food storage capacity, PM Kisan Sampada Yojana for reducing PHL in horticulture and non-horticulture produce, the Agriculture Infrastructure Fund for financing post-harvest management projects, and the National Cooperative Grain Storage Project launched in 2023 to expand cooperative storage facilities by 700 lakh tonnes.

World’s largest grain storage plan

 Source: PIB

 Context: The National Level Coordination Committee (NLCC) for the world’s largest grain storage plan held its first meeting in Delhi.

The plan aims to transform Primary Agricultural Credit Societies (PACS) into Multi-Service Societies. The pilot project, implemented in 11 states, focuses on creating agricultural infrastructure at the PACS level, including warehouses and processing units, through various government schemes.

 

About the World’s largest grain storage plan

ImplementationThe Ministry of Cooperation will implement a pilot project in at least 10 districts to gather regional insights for nationwide implementation. An IMC will modify guidelines and implementation methodologies for creating infrastructure at Primary Agricultural Credit Societies (PACS) using available schemes.
The ministry will implement it through the National Cooperative Development Corporation with support from NABARD, FCI, and others
Schemes for ConvergenceMinistry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare

 

Agriculture Infrastructure FundAgricultural Marketing Infrastructure Scheme, Mission for Integrated Development of Horticulture, Sub Mission on Agricultural Mechanization.
Ministry of Food Processing IndustriesPradhan Mantri Formalization of Micro Food Processing Enterprises SchemePradhan Mantri Kisan Sampada Yojana.
Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public DistributionAllocation of food grains under the National Food Security Act, Procurement operations at Minimum Support Price.
BenefitsThe plan aims to address the agricultural storage infrastructure shortage and enable PACS to function as procurement centres, fair price shops, custom hiring centres, and processing units.

It will reduce food grain wastage, enhance food security, prevent distress sales, reduce transportation costs, and strengthen PACS.

Implementation TimelineThe National Level Coordination Committee was formed within one week of approval. Implementation guidelines are issued within 15 days of approval.

Portal for PACS linkage rolled out within 45 days of approval.

Implementation starts within 45 days of approval.

FCI is a nodal agency responsible for procurement, storage and movement of food grains, public distribution and maintenance of buffer stocks. FCI, set up under the Food Corporation’s Act 1964, works under the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution. CWC established under Warehousing Corporations Act, 1962 for warehousing of agricultural produce and other notified commodities

 


Role of Nuclear Technologies in Food System

 Source: FAO

 Context: At the International Symposium on Food Safety and Control: FAO Director-General underscores the importance of nuclear technologies for measuring, managing and controlling food safety. It was organized by FAO and IAEA.

Role of Nuclear Technologies in Food System:

  1. Animal Health: PCR tests for rapid disease detection.
  2. Soil and Water Management: Use of radioactive nuclides to assess soil health and erosion rates.
  3. Insect Pest Management: Sterile Insect Technique (SIT) for pest control. Mass-rearing and sterilizing insects through ionizing radiation before release.
  4. Food Safety and Control: Food irradiation to improve safety and extend shelf life by reducing/eliminating microorganisms and insects.
  5. Plant Breeding and Genetics: Inducing desired genetic changes via irradiation.

Key Initiatives:

  1. Global: Atoms4Food Initiative by FAO and IAEA; Joint FAO/IAEA Centre of Nuclear Techniques in Food and Agriculture.
  2. India: Technology demonstration plants for irradiation: KRUSHAK at Lasalgaon, Nashik (low dose radiation); Radiation Processing Plant (RPP) in Navi Mumbai (high dose radiation); FSSAI’s Food Safety and Standards (Food Products Standards and Food Additives) Sixth Amendment Regulations, 2016, to align food irradiation rules with international standards.

Phenome India-CSIR Health Cohort Knowledgebase (PI-CheCK) Project

Source: PIB

 Context: CSIR’s ‘Phenome India’ project, a pioneering longitudinal health monitoring initiative, has achieved its target of collecting 10,000 samples, marking a significant step towards precision medicine in India.

What is Precision Medicine?

Precision medicine refers to an approach to healthcare that tailors medical treatment and prevention strategies to the individual characteristics of each patient. This approach takes into account factors such as genetic makeup, lifestyle, environment, and other personal data to customize healthcare decisions. By considering individual variability, precision medicine aims to optimize treatment outcomes and minimize adverse effects, leading to more effective and personalized patient care.

The Phenome India-CSIR Health Cohort Knowledgebase (PI-CHeCK) project was launched in 2023 by the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR). It aims to assess risk factors in non-communicable diseases, particularly cardio-metabolic conditions, within the Indian population. It aligns with the vision of “Swasthya Bharat Viksit Bharat” by promoting health and wellness checks. Additionally, the project underscores CSIR’s dedication to advancing precision medicine through Predictive, Personalized, Participatory, and Preventive healthcare approaches.

 


PraVaHa Software

 Source: ISRO

Context: SRO’s Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) develops PraVaHa (Parallel RANS Solver for Aerospace Vehicle Aero-thermo-dynamic Analysis), a Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) software for aerodynamic design and analysis of aerospace vehicles.

PraVaHa simulates external and internal flows on launch vehicles, winged, and non-winged re-entry vehicles, aiding in the evaluation of aerodynamic and aerothermal loads during launch and re-entry. It is extensively used in the Gaganyaan program for analyzing human-rated launch vehicles and is designed to utilize CPU and GPU architectures for efficient simulation.

 


Mapping

 Abu Musa, Greater Tunb, and Lesser Tunb islands

 Source: ET

 Context: Iran summoned China’s ambassador to protest a China-UAE statement on the sovereignty of Abu Musa, Greater Tunb, and Lesser Tunb islands, which are also claimed by the UAE but have been held by Iran since 1971.

On 30 November 1971, the Imperial Iranian Navy seized Abu Musa and the Greater and Lesser Tunbs after British forces withdrew. Iran claimed these islands, while the Emirate of Ras al-Khaimah and the Emirate of Sharjah claimed the Tunbs and Abu Musa, respectively. After joining the UAE, these emirates passed the dispute to the UAE. Despite international attempts by the UAE, Iran has maintained control over the islands since 1971. The dispute remains unresolved as of 2022.

 

UPSC CURRENT AFFAIRS – 5 June 2024 [PDF]

 


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